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Veronika Kuzma - "Permanent home. Family for good. Adaptation of a mill to house an adoptive family in the village of Kula-Mill".

Dobrawa Bies
31 of December '21
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2021
Name: "Permanent home. Permanent family. Adaptation of a mill to house an adoptive family in the village of Kula-Mill".
Author: Weronika Kuźma
Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk

Prof. Beata Szymanska, Dr. Paweł Czarzasty

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2020/2022".

The whole is more than the sum of the parts - a family is more than a kinship of people, and a house is more than a building. The concept tries to respond in the best way to the raised problem of parental deprivation of children. The project tries to prove that architecture can, in a sense, "heal", blur differences, unite and divide.

Stary młyn we wsi Kula-Młyn

The mill is located in the village of Kula-Młyn

© Weronika Kuzma

The combination of a multi-generational house and a multi-generational family creates developmental conditions that cannot be achieved in another environment. Despite the gradual disappearance of traditional multi-generational families, the design decision was to return to such a form. Growing up in a large family, with numerous siblings and elders, teaches how to function in society. The austere walls of the mill leave room for the human factor.

i elewacja młyna

cross-section and elevation of the mill

© Weronika Kuzma

The project is a combination of the current state, historical accents and self-invention. Based on comprehensive documentation, it was possible to restore historical elements of the building that no longer exist, worth restoring. The facade received enlarged glazing. The roofs, thickened and restored, were post-positioned to let in light and achieve an optimal storey height. The sizable glazing on the south side collects heat and reflects it back into the building like a greenhouse. A large number of trees and the ability to shade the glazing, meanwhile, prevents these parts of the house from overheating on hot days.

Przeszklona część

The glazed southern part

© Weronika Kuzma

The addition recreates the shape of the building. Set one story lower, it repeats the procedure of roof grading. An exterior balcony, inspired by historical inventory drawings, surrounds part of the mill. Originally restored in the west wing, it wraps the brick walls with a wooden structure.

z odsłoniętym stropem

Kitchen with exposed ceiling

© Weronika Kuzma

The living area was designed so that the layout of the rooms provides intimacy and comfort for a multi-generational family. The building has been divided into a common area, which includes a high space with a dining room and living room, a kitchen, a conservatory and recreational rooms, namely a TV room, an exercise room and a library; a private room area - here there are rooms for older children, younger children, parents and a grandparents' apartment; and a store area, storage and utility rooms.

i przestrzeń do nauki

library and study space

© Weronika Kuzma

The main building is designed as a common space, gathering all family members. Upon crossing the threshold, we find ourselves in a two-story high room. The ceiling of the first floor has been removed, and the exposed wooden structure, running through the central axis of the building, accounts for the special character of this interior. From the high space, a vertical communication takes us to the top floor.

Pokój dla starszych
dzieci Fragment balkonu

One of the rooms for older children and a fragment of the added balcony

© Weronika Kuzma

Thisfloor was adapted into bedrooms for older children. The location of the pillars determined the division of the space into four rooms and a bathroom. In order not to disturb the historic walls, electrical and plumbing installations were carried out along the wall. On the first floor of the northeast wing, directly below the youngest children's bedroom, a study space with a library was designed. The glass in the enlarged window openings, facing the road, was replaced with glass blocks.


industrial bathroom

© Weronika Kuzma

The location of the store and the fact that the mill is one of the attractions on the "Jozef Wybicki trail" are responsible for the presence of strangers near the building. Luxaffers provide visual separation from the road, thus increasing comfort and privacy.

Sklep ekologiczny

ecological store

© Weronika Kuzma

The concept presented in the project takes advantage of the natural wealth of the land belonging to the mill and the surrounding area. The design of the store offering organic preserves and honey products draws its inspiration from the history of the mill. Nearby abandoned apiaries bear witness to the crafts and farming carried out.

 Fragment murowanych
ścian młyna Wnętrze oranżerii

The former mill has been converted into a home for an adoptive family

© Weronika Kuzma

Additional efforts to help support the family and the facility include the use of existing infrastructure. A sump well located next to the facility, in the case of supplying the house with potable water, could level fees to a minimum or bring savings in water intake. In addition, there is the possibility of using a renewable energy source through a domestic hydropower plant.

Veronika Kuzma

Illustrations: © Author

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